Hypertension or arterial hypertension refers to diseases of the cardiovascular system. This disease is insidious because it develops slowly and proceeds with almost no symptoms, for which it is also called a “silent killer”. Without treatment, there is a high risk of developing complications such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and chronic kidney damage.
In recent years, this disease has become much younger. High blood pressure is increasingly being diagnosed in young people under 25 years of age. How to detect hypertension in time, why it occurs and whether it is possible to completely recover from it — we will consider in our article.
What is blood pressure and what should it be normal
Blood pressure (blood pressure) this is the main indicator of the work of the heart, as the driving force of blood in the body. The pressure with which blood passes through the vessels is called blood or arterial. Measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
The highest pressure is recorded when blood exits the left ventricle of the heart. Getting into the vessels, the pressure gradually decreases, and in the veins it becomes minimal.
When measuring blood pressure , 3 indicators are taken into account:
- Heart rate (heart rate).
- Systolic (upper) pressure — shows the strength of blood pressure in the arteries during the active contraction of the heart.
- Diastolic (lower) — characterizes the activity of blood vessels during cardiac relaxation. If the tone and elasticity of the vessels are insufficient, then the diastolic pressure will be high.
The ideal indicator of blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg. But in medicine there is such a thing as working pressure. Each person has his own and does not affect the body and general well-being, despite the fact that the indicators go beyond the norm.
Help! In children, blood pressure indicators are much lower than the generally accepted 120/80 mm Hg. In children under 3 years of age, blood pressure can be in the range of 90-112 / 50-74 mm Hg. This is the age norm.
With age, blood pressure indicators increase. This is due to a decrease in vascular elasticity, chronic diseases and age-related changes in the work of the heart. But regardless of age and gender, exceeding 140/90 mmHg is a reason to immediately see a doctor.
Classification of hypertension
According to the severity, absence or presence of complications of hypertension, it is divided into three degrees:
I degree (light)
There are periodic periods of high blood pressure with an independent return to normal indicators. There are no negative changes in the work of internal organs. At this stage, blood pressure jumps range from: systolic 140-159 mmHg, diastolic – 90-99. The manifestations are weak, often people do not feel them.
Grade II (moderate)
This stage of hypertension is characterized by the following pathological changes — vasoconstriction, the appearance of plaques, renal failure, enlargement of the left atrium. Blood pressure indicators are kept in the range from 160 to 179 mm Hg (upper), lower – 100-109 for a long time. Remissions are rare. Lowering blood pressure is possible only with the help of medications.
Grade III (severe)
There are significant pathologies in the work of the cardiovascular system – angina pectoris, blockage of arteries, heart attack, aortic dissection. The cerebral circulation is disrupted, which leads to stroke, vascular dementia. These are dangerous conditions that, without medical help, can lead to death or disability. The indicators of the upper blood pressure are consistently 180 and higher, the lower – from 110 mm Hg.
Dangerous complications of the disease include a hypertensive crisis. This sharp increase in blood pressure to critical indicators requires an immediate reduction in blood pressure with intravenous drugs. If medical care is not provided in time, high blood pressure in the vessels can lead to damage to important organs — the heart, brain and kidneys.
Why does arterial hypertension occur
WHO classifies hypertension as psychosomatic diseases, that is, psychogenic factors are at the heart of their occurrence. The main culprit of the increase in blood pressure is the stress hormone — cortisol. It is secreted by the adrenal glands in a stressful situation. Its main task is to help the body cope with the danger that has arisen, even if it is fictional. As a result, the heart rate increases, which helps the blood flow faster through the vessels. If a person is constantly under stress, then this leads to a stable increase in blood pressure.
Other causes of hypertension:
- excess weight;
- inactive lifestyle;
- excessive alcohol addiction;
- taking certain medications, for example, hormonal contraceptives;
- tobacco smoking
Arterial hypertension does not always act as an independent disease. Sometimes high blood pressure can be a symptom of another disease. This condition is called secondary hypertension. Its causes:
- kidney diseases, including trauma and kidney infection;
- lead poisoning;
- endocrine diseases;
- congenital anomalies of the vascular system;
- brain damage or malignant neoplasms;
Only a doctor can determine the exact cause after an examination and passing the necessary tests.
Symptoms of the disease
In most cases, hypertension is asymptomatic for a long time. Sometimes an increase in blood pressure is accompanied by a slight headache, fatigue and a decrease in performance. People do not pay attention to such phenomena, and continue to ignore them until the first hypertensive crisis occurs.
Hypertension can be detected at an early stage only with the help of self-monitoring and home blood pressure measurement using a tonometer. This medical device should be in every family. Especially if there are elderly family members or people with burdened heredity.
What symptoms should alert:
- frequent headache that is not relieved by painkillers;
- memory impairment, decreased concentration;
With prolonged hypertension, internal organs are affected, so chest pain, vomiting, convulsions, confusion may occur.
In people with high blood pressure, the level of causeless anxiety increases, sleep is disturbed. With the aggravation of the disease, tachycardia, shortness of breath, heaviness in the chest occurs.
If such symptoms occur, you should start keeping a blood pressure measurement diary. With frequent jumps in blood pressure, it is recommended to consult a therapist for examination and diagnosis. Self-diagnosis can lead to a worsening of the condition, since in some cases high blood pressure can be a symptom of a brain tumor.
Diagnosis and treatment methods
To make a diagnosis, several blood pressure measurements are required at different times of the day. Therefore, you should already come to the doctor with a diary, where blood pressure indicators for the last week will be recorded. For a more accurate diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe DMBP (daily monitoring of blood pressure).
It is also necessary to determine whether hypertension is primary or it has arisen due to another disease. To do this, the doctor prescribes:
- General laboratory tests of blood, urine.
- Ultrasound of the kidneys.
- Kidney tests for the detection of kidney diseases.
- Ophthalmoscopy (examination of the fundus).
A consultation with a cardiologist, an endocrinologist and an ophthalmologist is also prescribed. This makes it possible to determine the presence of complications from the target organs.
Primary hypertension is a chronic disease that requires lifelong drug therapy.
The success of complications of hypertension treatment is directly affected by lifestyle changes:
- giving up alcohol, cigarettes;
- balanced nutrition;
- sports (swimming, walking, yoga);
- restoring the correct sleep mode;
- control of blood pressure independently at home.
With hypertension of the mild stage, it is enough to change the lifestyle for a steady decrease in blood pressure. If the 2nd or 3rd degree of the disease is diagnosed, then you can not do without taking pills.
Antihypertensive medications are prescribed only by a doctor. They are selected individually, taking into account concomitant diseases. Sometimes several medications are required. It is absolutely not recommended to cancel, replace and prescribe antihypertensive drugs for yourself!
In the event of a hypertensive crisis, immediate emergency medical care is required. Treatment is carried out in a hospital. If the cause of hypertension is a tumor, then surgical intervention is performed.
With hypertension, it is important to be able to philosophically treat life’s problems and troubles. Try not to take everything to heart, take vitamins and rest more often.